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EU state recalls envoy after Argentina’s Milei slurs PM’s wife

Spain reacted angrily after the South American leader branded Begona Gomez “corrupt”

Spain has recalled its ambassador to Argentina and demanded an apology after the president of the South American country, Javier Milei, made derogatory comments about Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s wife at a rally in Madrid. Speaking at an event organized by the Spanish far-right Vox party on Sunday, Milei branded Begona Gomez “corrupt” and described socialism as “cursed and carcinogenic.”

The remarks come after a Madrid court launched an investigation last month into Gomez’s alleged influence-peddling and corruption. The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party led by her husband is also being probed.

“The global elites don’t realize how destructive it can be to implement the ideas of socialism… even if you have the corrupt wife, let’s say, it gets dirty, and you take five days to think about it,” Milei stated, referring to the five-day break from public duties Pedro Sanchez took following the accusations against his wife. “Let us not let the dark, black, satanic, atrocious, horrible carcinogenic side that is socialism prevail over us,” he added while promoting his books on libertarianism at a party after the rally.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares immediately demanded a public apology from Milei over the comments, claiming his behavior “has brought the relationship between Spain and Argentina to its most serious state in recent history.”

“It is unacceptable that a sitting president visiting Spain should insult Spain and the Spanish prime minister, a fact that breaks with all diplomatic customs and the most elementary rules of coexistence between countries,” Albares said in a video statement posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday. “For this reason, I have just recalled for consultations our ambassador in Buenos Aires ‘sine die’,” he added.

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Milei is not expected to meet with the Spanish prime minister or King Felipe VI during his visit, which goes against diplomatic protocol. He has also refused to apologize for his remarks, with a spokesperson saying that Spanish officials should instead retract alleged insults they have made against the Argentinian president.

The relationship between Spain and Argentina has been in decline since Milei’s ascent to power in December. Sanchez supported Milei’s rival Sergio Massa in the election, and has not been in contact with the Argentinian leader since his victory.

Earlier this month, Spanish Transport Minister Oscar Puente claimed that the Argentinian president had “ingested substances” during his election campaign, to which Milei responded with a statement criticizing socialist party policies and pointing at the corruption charges against Sanchez’s wife. Sanchez maintains that there is no truth in the allegations against his spouse, and has requested the dismissal of the case.

May 20, 2024 at 12:48PM
RT

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